Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Brayan Pena enjoyed his time in Kansas City, leaving the backup catcher shocked when the team let him walk.
Backup catcher Brayan Pena enjoyed his four seasons with the Kansas City Royals, and he told the team's official website he was even ready to take a pay cut to stay with the team next season. That's surely part of the reason he said he was so shocked to learn he was designated for assignment by the team:
"I was very shocked when I heard the news. I found out the news through Internet.... I was ready to take a pay cut to stay there. It's not about the money for me. It's about the chemistry, my teammates and city -- we loved it there."
Rather than accept the assignment to the minors, Pena elected free agency, as did recently acquired starting pitcher Chris Volstad. In four years mostly as a backup, Pena played well for the Royals. The switch-hitter hit .251 with 12 homers, 41 doubles and 86 RBIs in 264 games.
Pena's playing time saw an increase when starter Salvador Perez was injured this past season. Pena split time with Humberto Quintero, who was acquired from the Houston Astros. But Pena found himself on the bench again with Perez' return, but he said he was fine with the lack of playing time. "I knew he was going to play a lot of games, I knew that from the get-go," Pena said.